Finding the Positive in a Negative Year

An open letter from Radcom President, Angie Dianetti:

To say that peak performance has been difficult to achieve this past year would be quite the understatement. After all, how do you maintain productivity when your workforce is suddenly remote and workspaces are shared with children, spouses, and pets? 

How do you communicate clearly with your teams in an age of inadvertently muted phone lines and overloaded WiFi connections? How do you inspire and motivate when everything in the world around you feels bleak and dangerous? How do you achieve continuous improvement when it feels hard enough just to stay healthy—physically and financially—in the current business climate?

The Questions of 2020

These are the questions many decision makers have been asking themselves throughout 2020, and the conclusions they have reached are varied.

Some leaders have chosen to crack down and monitor their people closely—whether through in-person supervision or productivity software—demanding more from their employees if they want to avoid falling victim to job cuts. Others have taken a softer approach, leveraging their strong cultures, showcasing the importance of the work their employees are doing, and giving them the perspective and sense of purpose needed to succeed.  

The Need for Performance Improvement

Both types of leaders have at least one thing in common: They saw a need for performance improvement and took action to try to achieve it. Yet, the latter group has seen far more success, as these leaders realized that getting more productivity from workers is not just about setting clear expectations and motivating behavior change by any means necessary. It’s also about giving employees the desire and autonomy to do their best work, while growing professionally in the process.

Performance improvement has never been more important, and stakes have scarcely been higher for achieving it. As many of us have been reminded this past year, however, performance improvement is as much about empowering performers as it is about holding them accountable.

How Will You Remember 2020?

Many people will remember 2020 as a terrible year filled with hardship and loss, but the people best positioned to succeed in 2021 will be those who see 2020 a bit differently—as a wonderful experiment in how we can do things better. The winners in the current marketplace will continue to be those who broke out of the status quo and learned to think in a new way.

At Radcom, we spent much of 2020 focusing on thinking differently. We have been digging deeply into what it takes to achieve sustainable performance improvement without sacrificing culture or values, both within our organization and for our clients. This course of investigation and discovery was shaped by who we are as professionals and as a company, but it has also shaped who we want to be. We are excited to tell you about our journey—and what it means for you—in the coming weeks and months. In the meantime, you can learn more in VP of Operations Therese Longo’s interview with Crain’s Cleveland Business.

It is my sincere hope that we return to “normal” in 2021 as soon as possible. Yet, in doing so, I hope we will not forget the lessons learned during the unexpected social experiment that was 2020. Ask yourself how 2020 may have helped your organization get to where it is today and where it will go tomorrow, and if you need assistance planning for sustainable performance improvement in the process, give us a call. We would be happy to help.

All the best to you in 2021,

Not sure what 2021 has in store for your business? Need some help strategizing for the year ahead? We’d love to help. Request a free brainstorm session today.